< 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›
 
   
 

ZEN - Teacherless Knowledge and the Ocean of Your Own Essence

 
Skipshot
 
Avatar
 
 
Skipshot
Total Posts:  9609
Joined  20-10-2006
 
 
 
28 May 2017 22:27
 
EN - 28 May 2017 11:47 AM

  I can agree that there is both good and bad at the core. But unsmoked’s primary thesis is all that we have to do is uncover the good and it takes over, or something like that. The good and the bad are going to be locked in a struggle to the death, and for good to win takes learning.

Zen is not about good and bad.  Zen is not about distinctions at all, it is about what is.  A lion chasing and eating a zebra is not good or bad (maybe bad for the zebra), but what is.  Zen is how you ride a bike, you do it without thinking, which the Chinese call wu wei.

“Good” and “bad” are ideas which divide, and, admittedly, I am guilty of using here, but I like to think we use a little more “what is” on this forum than “good and bad”.

 
EN
 
Avatar
 
 
EN
Total Posts:  21593
Joined  11-03-2007
 
 
 
29 May 2017 10:00
 
Skipshot - 28 May 2017 10:27 PM
EN - 28 May 2017 11:47 AM

  I can agree that there is both good and bad at the core. But unsmoked’s primary thesis is all that we have to do is uncover the good and it takes over, or something like that. The good and the bad are going to be locked in a struggle to the death, and for good to win takes learning.

Zen is not about good and bad.  Zen is not about distinctions at all, it is about what is.  A lion chasing and eating a zebra is not good or bad (maybe bad for the zebra), but what is.  Zen is how you ride a bike, you do it without thinking, which the Chinese call wu wei.

“Good” and “bad” are ideas which divide, and, admittedly, I am guilty of using here, but I like to think we use a little more “what is” on this forum than “good and bad”.

I keep getting dragged off my point.  You can call it whatever you want.  Unsmoked’s premise is that we just get rid of the trash and then there is this shining inner Buddha that is all peace and love and tranquility.  That’s what I’m calling bullshit on.  There may be a rational man down there, but there is also a wild animal.  You have to learn to keep the wild animal at bay.

 
unsmoked
 
Avatar
 
 
unsmoked
Total Posts:  8635
Joined  20-02-2006
 
 
 
29 May 2017 11:57
 
Skipshot - 28 May 2017 10:27 PM
EN - 28 May 2017 11:47 AM

  I can agree that there is both good and bad at the core. But unsmoked’s primary thesis is all that we have to do is uncover the good and it takes over, or something like that. The good and the bad are going to be locked in a struggle to the death, and for good to win takes learning.

Zen is not about good and bad.  Zen is not about distinctions at all, it is about what is.  A lion chasing and eating a zebra is not good or bad (maybe bad for the zebra), but what is.  Zen is how you ride a bike, you do it without thinking, which the Chinese call wu wei.

“Good” and “bad” are ideas which divide, and, admittedly, I am guilty of using here, but I like to think we use a little more “what is” on this forum than “good and bad”.

What is Original Mind?

For more than a thousand years most Zen masters have talked about something which in English is translated as ‘original mind.’  I don’t think there’s any reason to think they’re referring to something mysterious . . . something other that what the words mean.  Is it hard to imagine what our original mind was like?  One koan says, “Show me your face before your parents were born.”

With this koan, a Zen student might go back to his seat imagining their brain a few days before they were born . . . imagining they were lucky enough to have a happy, healthy mother . . .

A Zen master said, “This mind source is originally empty and peaceful, clear and wondrous, and free from the slightest obstruction.  If you have great capacity, you won’t seek outside any more.  Right where you stand you will come forth in independent realization.”  (right where you stand you will be able to manifest original mind)

Zen master Yuanwu said, “If you want to attain Intimacy [original mind] the first thing is, don’t seek it.  If you attain through seeking, you have already fallen into interpretive understanding.  This is especially true because this great treasury [original mind] extends through all times, [your billion-plus years of evolution] clearly evident, empty and bright.  Since time without beginning it has been your own basic root: you depend on its power entirely in all your actions.”

(Yuanwu quoted from the book, ‘ZEN LETTERS - Teachings of Yuanwu’ - translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary)

 

 

 

 
 
Skipshot
 
Avatar
 
 
Skipshot
Total Posts:  9609
Joined  20-10-2006
 
 
 
29 May 2017 13:08
 
EN - 29 May 2017 10:00 AM

I keep getting dragged off my point.

That’s beause your point is off target.  unsmoked isn’t saying everything will be kittens and rainbows with Zen, but struggling to reach a goal of good/bad is a waste of time.  Zen is a part of the homeless guy living in a cardboard box under a bridge as much as it is in Lebron James making basketball look easy - it is what they do.  When distinctions are applied to the bum and Lebron that is when Zen is lost.  Just do what comes naturally.

Doing what comes naturally does come with consequences and it does not give absolution.  The bum’s natural choices may have led to his unfortunate condition just as much as Lebron’s fortune.

Declaring a man has a Dr. Jekyl / Mr. Hyde brain is only stating the obvious.

 
hannahtoo
 
Avatar
 
 
hannahtoo
Total Posts:  7176
Joined  15-05-2009
 
 
 
29 May 2017 14:11
 

Zen Master:
This mind source is originally empty and peaceful, clear and wondrous, and free from the slightest obstruction.

Really?  Yeah, I get the idea that we’re all enormously distracted by everything that’s every happened to us and taught to us.  But that starts literally before birth.  (Babies’ hiccups in utero might actually be reactions to what the mother ate.)  And the birth begins with being frightfully squeezed and then stimulated to cry, while having mucus sucked out of one’s lungs, all under bright lights.  Then there are the first hunger pangs, hopefully soothed by the first frantic rooting and nursing and rocking and burping, followed by the surprising first poop and clean up.  For the first several weeks, most of baby’s time is either howling hungry, desperate sucking, bouncing or rocking, patting and spit up, along with confusing visuals and sounds.

Yeah, I’m sure there are moments of peaceful bliss in there, immediately after eating and burping, before sleep takes over again.

 
unsmoked
 
Avatar
 
 
unsmoked
Total Posts:  8635
Joined  20-02-2006
 
 
 
30 May 2017 12:21
 
Skipshot - 29 May 2017 01:08 PM
EN - 29 May 2017 10:00 AM

I keep getting dragged off my point.

That’s beause your point is off target.  unsmoked isn’t saying everything will be kittens and rainbows with Zen, but struggling to reach a goal of good/bad is a waste of time.  Zen is a part of the homeless guy living in a cardboard box under a bridge as much as it is in Lebron James making basketball look easy - it is what they do.  When distinctions are applied to the bum and Lebron that is when Zen is lost.  Just do what comes naturally.

Doing what comes naturally does come with consequences and it does not give absolution.  The bum’s natural choices may have led to his unfortunate condition just as much as Lebron’s fortune.

Declaring a man has a Dr. Jekyl / Mr. Hyde brain is only stating the obvious.

A Christian Zen student gave his teacher a Bible and later asked for an opinion about Jesus.  The teacher said, “That man was almost enlightened.”

Possibly the teacher said that because Jesus didn’t make a point of telling his followers to, ‘Trust yourself.  Be independent and free.  You don’t need me.  You don’t need to seek outside.’ 

(“As for religion, and the preposterous idea that we need God to be good, nobody wields a sharper bayonet than Sam Harris.” — Richard Dawkins commenting on THE MORAL LANDSCAPE)

[ Edited: 31 May 2017 09:59 by unsmoked]
 
 
EN
 
Avatar
 
 
EN
Total Posts:  21593
Joined  11-03-2007
 
 
 
30 May 2017 14:49
 
Skipshot - 29 May 2017 01:08 PM
EN - 29 May 2017 10:00 AM

I keep getting dragged off my point.

That’s beause your point is off target.  unsmoked isn’t saying everything will be kittens and rainbows with Zen, but struggling to reach a goal of good/bad is a waste of time.  Zen is a part of the homeless guy living in a cardboard box under a bridge as much as it is in Lebron James making basketball look easy - it is what they do.  When distinctions are applied to the bum and Lebron that is when Zen is lost.  Just do what comes naturally.

Doing what comes naturally does come with consequences and it does not give absolution.  The bum’s natural choices may have led to his unfortunate condition just as much as Lebron’s fortune.

Declaring a man has a Dr. Jekyl / Mr. Hyde brain is only stating the obvious.

This is what unsmoked said: “Is this why Zen masters say the Way does not need cultivation?  Why Zen does not need study?”  For something that does not need cultivation and study, unsmoked sure spends a lot of time explaining it to us, just like you are doing in your post above. He also quotes a lot of masters, which is strange for a subject that does not need cultivation or study.  Like everything else, it is learned activity.  If it is obvious that we have a Jekyl/Hyde nature, then it is also obvious that we need to learn to overcome the Hyde.

 
Skipshot
 
Avatar
 
 
Skipshot
Total Posts:  9609
Joined  20-10-2006
 
 
 
30 May 2017 15:05
 

EN, Zen doesn’t have a goal; it is an understanding of what is.  Zen does not make a claim to be the answer to solving problems either.

 
EN
 
Avatar
 
 
EN
Total Posts:  21593
Joined  11-03-2007
 
 
 
30 May 2017 21:20
 
Skipshot - 30 May 2017 03:05 PM

EN, Zen doesn’t have a goal; it is an understanding of what is.  Zen does not make a claim to be the answer to solving problems either.

So you say.  That sounds like a faith position to me.

 
Skipshot
 
Avatar
 
 
Skipshot
Total Posts:  9609
Joined  20-10-2006
 
 
 
31 May 2017 09:26
 
EN - 30 May 2017 09:20 PM
Skipshot - 30 May 2017 03:05 PM

EN, Zen doesn’t have a goal; it is an understanding of what is.  Zen does not make a claim to be the answer to solving problems either.

So you say.  That sounds like a faith position to me.

It can certainly seem that way, and my interpretation in my readings through the eyes of a full-blown Western atheist is far different from the ones often made by some Chinese.  I don’t know how they get their interpretations about living forever, maintaining an erection for hours, and living without food because none of that is in what I read.  Nor is there any mention of gods, afterlife, or morality, yet many times these characteristics have been attached to it, and I admit, I have been somewhat embarrassed to say Taoism makes sense to me.

I’m sure you feel the same when you are compared to BroMo, and is the reason why I don’t make that comparison with you.

 
unsmoked
 
Avatar
 
 
unsmoked
Total Posts:  8635
Joined  20-02-2006
 
 
 
31 May 2017 11:04
 
EN - 30 May 2017 02:49 PM
Skipshot - 29 May 2017 01:08 PM
EN - 29 May 2017 10:00 AM

I keep getting dragged off my point.

That’s beause your point is off target.  unsmoked isn’t saying everything will be kittens and rainbows with Zen, but struggling to reach a goal of good/bad is a waste of time.  Zen is a part of the homeless guy living in a cardboard box under a bridge as much as it is in Lebron James making basketball look easy - it is what they do.  When distinctions are applied to the bum and Lebron that is when Zen is lost.  Just do what comes naturally.

Doing what comes naturally does come with consequences and it does not give absolution.  The bum’s natural choices may have led to his unfortunate condition just as much as Lebron’s fortune.

Declaring a man has a Dr. Jekyl / Mr. Hyde brain is only stating the obvious.

This is what unsmoked said: “Is this why Zen masters say the Way does not need cultivation?  Why Zen does not need study?”  For something that does not need cultivation and study, unsmoked sure spends a lot of time explaining it to us, just like you are doing in your post above. He also quotes a lot of masters, which is strange for a subject that does not need cultivation or study.  Like everything else, it is learned activity.  If it is obvious that we have a Jekyl/Hyde nature, then it is also obvious that we need to learn to overcome the Hyde.

Yuanwu responds:

“Since ancient times we have only esteemed forgetting thoughts and feelings [including all one’s cultivation and study] and finding independent realization.  Once getting this realization, we do not set up the idea of self, and we do not congratulate ourselves or put on lofty airs.  We just go along freely according to the natural flow, like know-nothings, like simpletons.  Only this can be called the practice of a nonstriving, unconcerned person of the Path.”  (end quote)

In the case of Brother Mario finding ‘independent realization’ - Luke 3:22 - “and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” - notice the onslaught of religious megalomania that followed his experience - the onslaught of self-congratulation and lofty airs.  Reading the gospels, it’s hard not to notice that Jesus suffered the consequences of the same thing - feeling himself to be God’s only son.  (Mark 8:29 - “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”)  Clearly Mario wanted the same kind of recognition from us, maybe not to be identified as the Second Coming of Christ, but as one dearly loved by God, chosen to come to this forum to guide the lost lambs back to the treasury of Catholicism.  He wanted to be recognized as a spokesman for God.  (After receiving this recognition, he may have been open to the suggestion that he is, in fact, like Trump, the Second Coming).

EN, like others here I have no doubt that you experienced your own version of ‘independent realization’ mentioned by Yuanwu.  While you didn’t then become a know-nothing, or a simpleton, at least you don’t put on lofty airs and you are generally well-liked and respected here - much closer to being a ‘non-striving unconcerned person of the Path.  (Albeit with a STOP THE WALL bumper sticker).

Clearly you have no affinity for Zen, and have no intention of trying to see what lies behind the words.  As Hannah pointed out a day or two ago with her ‘Joys of Motherhood’ post, with our intellect it is possible to make a hash of any proposition.  As someone said, “The word is not the thing.”  Zen words are not the thing.  They are pointing at ‘the ocean of your own essence’, not at something you learn from outside, from a Messiah or anyone else.  A Zen student said to his teacher, “What is the Buddha mind?”  The master pointed and said, “That pine tree in the yard.”  He didn’t say, “Buddha is love,” or “Buddha is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  He pointed to something that the student could do anytime, without effort - something that had nothing to do with learning or skill. 

How many people really see a pine tree?  How many see beyond the ‘subtle pounding and weaving’ going on in their head’?  (the floating clouds obscuring the moon).

 

 
 
EN
 
Avatar
 
 
EN
Total Posts:  21593
Joined  11-03-2007
 
 
 
31 May 2017 13:30
 
unsmoked - 31 May 2017 11:04 AM

A Zen student said to his teacher, “What is the Buddha mind?”  The master pointed and said, “That pine tree in the yard.”  He didn’t say, “Buddha is love,” or “Buddha is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  He pointed to something that the student could do anytime, without effort - something that had nothing to do with learning or skill.

I don’t have a problem with Zen or Buddhism of any sort.  If you get something out of it, go for it.  I’ve felt one with nature - the pine tree in the yard - many times.  If that’s what you are talking about, OK. But notice that the master had to tell the student what the Buddha mind was - he had to teach and the student had to learn.  Otherwise, he doesn’t even know what he’s looking for.  So I can clear my mind and focus on nature, and that’s all wonderful.  But then a beautiful woman passes by and my nature takes a different turn.  And then someone throws a rock at me and it takes another turn.  I just think that teaching is required to keep from becoming an animal.  You’ve read lots of Zen literature. You were learning, being taught.  You quote it all the time.  How can you say it has nothing to do with learning or skill?

 
hannahtoo
 
Avatar
 
 
hannahtoo
Total Posts:  7176
Joined  15-05-2009
 
 
 
01 June 2017 12:16
 

unsmoked:
Clearly you have no affinity for Zen, and have no intention of trying to see what lies behind the words.  As Hannah pointed out a day or two ago with her ‘Joys of Motherhood’ post, with our intellect it is possible to make a hash of any proposition.  As someone said, “The word is not the thing.”  Zen words are not the thing.  They are pointing at ‘the ocean of your own essence’, not at something you learn from outside, from a Messiah or anyone else.  A Zen student said to his teacher, “What is the Buddha mind?”  The master pointed and said, “That pine tree in the yard.”  He didn’t say, “Buddha is love,” or “Buddha is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  He pointed to something that the student could do anytime, without effort - something that had nothing to do with learning or skill.

Sorry to make hash. 
Obviously, any terse statement of reality can be picked apart.  For example, consider “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and its opposite “out of sight, out of mind.”  Which is true?  Well, both, in different circumstances.

My point about the baby analogy is that it breaks down, depending on the particular baby moment.  Probably I shouldn’t be so picky.  It’s an analogy, after all.  What I think it means is that we should make more room in our lives for simple experience, outside of expectations.  That is valid.  My own parental experience is that babies are not pure Buddha minds—they have overwhelming desires and emotional reactions.  So I guess I just couldn’t let the analogy stand unquestioned.

Yes, I get the pine tree example.  I won’t argue.  Pine trees grow in harmony with their environment.  I have had many pine tree moments.  That’s why I love to be out in nature to walk amongst role models.  But I’ll stick to my understanding that human beings need drive and tumult as well as peace in their lives.  Our nature is mixed for good reason.  It is easy in this day and age to become addicted to the drive and tumult, and we do need to remember to seek peace.

 
unsmoked
 
Avatar
 
 
unsmoked
Total Posts:  8635
Joined  20-02-2006
 
 
 
01 June 2017 12:19
 
EN - 31 May 2017 01:30 PM
unsmoked - 31 May 2017 11:04 AM

A Zen student said to his teacher, “What is the Buddha mind?”  The master pointed and said, “That pine tree in the yard.”  He didn’t say, “Buddha is love,” or “Buddha is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  He pointed to something that the student could do anytime, without effort - something that had nothing to do with learning or skill.

I don’t have a problem with Zen or Buddhism of any sort.  If you get something out of it, go for it.  I’ve felt one with nature - the pine tree in the yard - many times.  If that’s what you are talking about, OK. But notice that the master had to tell the student what the Buddha mind was - he had to teach and the student had to learn.  Otherwise, he doesn’t even know what he’s looking for.  So I can clear my mind and focus on nature, and that’s all wonderful.  But then a beautiful woman passes by and my nature takes a different turn.  And then someone throws a rock at me and it takes another turn.  I just think that teaching is required to keep from becoming an animal.  You’ve read lots of Zen literature. You were learning, being taught.  You quote it all the time.  How can you say it has nothing to do with learning or skill?

Can you teach someone to taste soup?  A beautiful woman passes by and . . . how can that be spoiled?  Can a Texan see a field of bluebonnets and just enjoy it?  Maybe oil underneath?  A good site for a wind farm?

[ Edited: 01 June 2017 12:22 by unsmoked]
 
 
EN
 
Avatar
 
 
EN
Total Posts:  21593
Joined  11-03-2007
 
 
 
01 June 2017 12:58
 
unsmoked - 01 June 2017 12:19 PM

[  Can a Texan see a field of bluebonnets and just enjoy it?

YES! When I look at April bluebonnets and paint brushes together in one field (imagine a canvas of royal blue and bright red) I feel healing going on in my soul.  I see it, feel it, love it.

 
 < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›